An Earfull

It’s a holiday weekend and I’m opening up some of my favorite blogs when Tessa shrieks. An ear-piercing shriek that is well outside her normal dramatic flair.

She is holding a DNA swab. And screaming. Earlier this week I had thrown away two child’s DNA kits that we’d picked up at a summer fair. You know, you swab your child’s cheek and then have a record of it in case…well, I could never get past that thought.

I didn’t know the kit had risen from the trash, but it did. Reed had apparently wanted to “help” Tessa clean her ears, but something went very wrong.

Roger grabs a flashlight and peeks in Tessa’s ear. “Sangre,” he says in our not-so-secret language, carefully designed to not freak out whichever child is within ear shot. I dose her with children’s Motrin.

I scoop her up and head for the car. Roger calls the Urgent Care facility to get an appointment, but is given the run around. Through the gauntlet of red lights, I am hoping Tessa’s howls will convince a triage person to see us quickly.

No such luck. The waiting room is stuffed full. We are about 7th on the list. We wait over an hour without ANYone being called. But I am so proud of Tessa, who does quite well with self-soothing. I comfort and rock her occasionally, and sing softly in her (good) ear. I tell Tessa that sometimes you can forget about pain by thinking of something else. So we color a blue and purple elephant and make up a story about it.

Meanwhile back home, Roger is comforting a very distraught Reed. He hides under his covers for half an hour before Roger can coax him and out and talk about what happened. He may end up being more traumatized than Tessa.

Finally, the nurse calls a new patient, unblocking the clog in the waiting room. The callee, who turns out to be an everyday angel, says, “no…take the little girl first. She’s hurting so badly.” Amazingly, all the other angels — themselves in varying degrees of pain and impatience — nod their heads. The nurse disappears a moment and comes back with a new chart. “Tessa?” she says.

I can never thank these people enough. I know Soccer-Injury Lady will probably never read this, nor will Migraine Man, but they and the others made some really good karma for themselves. I am actively seeking ways to pay it forward.

All we have to do to treat Tessa’s perforated eardrum is keep it dry and give pain reliever as necessary. I’m told the eardrum will completely heal itself within the next 24 hours.

Children remind you how resilient the human body is.

And when I see Reed and Tessa reunite, I am reminded how strong our family bonds are.

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